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Does My Pet Need Probiotics?

By Shelly Allen

Does your pet need probiotics? To answer that, I’ll need to tell you a story.

I I once had a cat named, Mystique. It was the perfect name for her as she was full of mystery and quite a hard nut to crack. I had her for two years before she finally jumped into my lap to grace me with her presence. I really loved that cat. I drove all the way to Ohio from Florida to rescue her when she was a year old because my nephew was terribly allergic. By the time “Stiquey” was almost seven she had developed what the doctor described as Kitty Crohn’s Disease. My poor little girl went to the bathroom all the time and many times she couldn’t make it to the litter box. We tried all the doctor knew to do with steroids and changing her food and trying to manage her symptoms but nothing helped. It wasn’t long before Stiquey was severely under weight and I needed to try something different.

In 2006, I did what most people do now, I went to the internet for help. I started doing a lot of research and what I found was that animals, like us, need help gut bacteriawith their intestinal environment. They need probiotics to help ward off the bad bacteria, keep a good gut bacteria ratio and to keep homeostasis in the gut microbiome. They need digestive enzymes, especially if they are eating kibble to help break down their food and utilize it’s nutrients. They also need prebiotics which act as a “fertilizer” so to speak for probiotics and helps to nourish the good bacteria that already exist in the gut. Some might even say prebiotics are MORE important than probiotics.

Once I knew what I was looking for I went on the search. Unfortunately, at the time I couldn’t find any companies that offered digestive enzymes and prebiotics for pets but I found a company named Pet Medicine Chest that sold a variety of handmade herbal concoctions, vitamins and probiotics. I ordered the probiotics and started sprinkling them onto her hard food. That didn’t seem to help so I began mixing it with a bit of water and syringing it into her mouth. One morning Stiquey didn’t quite make it to litter box but instead squatted where she stood to poop, as I readied for the normal explosion out popped a solid piece of poop about three inches long. My eyes welled as I stood there in amazement and thought, this is the first solid bowel movement my poor little girl has had in months. Sadly, this would be one of her last bowel movements as her body was tired and severely malnourished from the months of diarrhea she endured. She passed quietly and peacefully, curled under the desk chair as the morning sun shined through. That was 11 years ago and I still feel ashamed for not doing more sooner.

My experience doesn’t have to be your experience. Start your pet on a good intestinal health supplement now. Support their gut health and it may help keep illness at bay. I would recommend Pet Medicine Chest, unfortunately, the FDA shut down the company because it’s owner, who was a very passionate woman, was engaged in what the FDA considered “practicing medicine without a license.” A great product you might want to try is Herbsmith Microflora Plus for Digestion.  If you buy it from this link, you’ll be helping to support Pet Junction and our mission of keeping people and their pets together. I hope you enjoyed this article and if you’d like to stay informed with all things pets, please enter your email on the home page. It will be added to our newsletter list and you’ll even get our awesome “Essential Oils for Pets Guide” as a thank you.

 

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